The Mount Vernon Nazarene College baseball program has signed a former Southeastern High School standout to join the Cougars for the 2002 season.
Justin Ward, a shortstop from Chillicothe, Ohio, posted a .359 batting average in 25 games as a senior at Southeastern. He recorded five doubles, one home run, 13 runs batted in, 24 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases as he helped his team to a sectional title. He was also named to the All-Conference Team and the District All-Star Team in 2001.
"I think Justin has good potential to play in the middle of our infield," said MVNC head coach Keith Veale. "The real key is arm strength in order to play on the left side of the infield. Justin is a likeable kid who seems hungry to learn and to be challenged. We are anxious to get him plugged into our program and see his development."
In addition to playing baseball, Ward was a member of National Honor Society. He also took a missions trip to Mexico in 1999.
"I chose to attend MVNC for several reasons," said Ward of his college choice. "I wanted to attend a good Christian college, and Mount Vernon has an outstanding baseball program."
MVNC posted a 35-16 overall record in 2001 as the program notched its eighth straight 20-win season. The Cougars also advanced to the championship game of the NAIA Region IX Tournament for the third straight year and the semifinals of the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament.